CREATE AN ACTUAL OFFICE SPACE
This might not seem that important, or perhaps it may seem like it takes the fun out of working from home – but this is a surefire way to find yourself in a black hole. I can’t tell you how much designating an office space has not only changed my work day, but my personal life as well. Work/life balance is a struggle for many of us, and having a door to close at the end of the day is crucial. If you don’t have a spare bedroom, set up a little corner of your dining room, tuck yourself in the corner of your den, set up at the kitchen island, or if the weather permits – head outside and set up a tranquil little day office.
You don’t need an actual door to separate your work/life, but you will have to be disciplined when it comes to putting your things away so you aren’t tempted. (most people who work from home end up overworking. I’ve been there.)
LIGHT A CANDLE
Set up your space to fit your comfort zone. It’s so important for me to feel relaxed and calm. Even when I worked in corporate, I hung white lights in my office, I had a little throw pillow for my back and the softest blanket. You can do the same at home, and what’s better — you can light a candle or four 😉 Make it a space that will help you to ease into the day, rather than hit the ground running. I don’t believe in hustle, hustle, hustle… rather take each thing one at a time, do it well, and move calmly into the next.
PLAY THE RIGHT MUSIC
This ties in with lighting a candle and setting up your work space. Listening to the right music is key, as it can set the tone for your day. If you have a lot of energy and you feel like dancing – go for it. For the most part, I’m more reliant on calming playlists to ensure I’m centered, focused and not feeling too frazzled. Plus my AM workouts help tremendously to get all of my shakes and stressors out before I start the work day,
MAKE YOUR BED
Waking up in the morning and making your bed gives you purpose. I know it might sound silly, but just try it. It really does help! Also, it takes away temptation that each of us have for working straight from bed.. 😉
This is another trick that gives your day purpose. Working from home it’s so incredibly easy to lounge in your PJs all day. Now this is fine once in a while (keep reading!), but for the most part, it can make you feel lethargic, sluggish, and a bit unmotivated. Getting dressed and putting your face on helps to take you out of the “no place to go” mentality, and makes you feel like you’re ready for all of those in person meetings… that you don’t have 😉
This has been one of the best tricks I’ve learned for working from home. It’s incredibly easy for those who work from home to lose track of time, and to skip important things (like lunch 😉 Setting timers throughout the day (I do increments of 30-60 minutes depending on the task) is a perfect reminder to get up, shake it out, do something else for a bit, eat some food, check your instagram, drink some water.. you know – just take care of yourself. Set a timer for your breaks, too! (I usually do about 15-30 minutes)
BLOCK YOUR PRIORITIES
Block out your priorities for the day before you begin a single thing. This will help you to plan out your day. When you go run errands, you have an idea of where you’re going, right? You want to make sure you’re getting all of the things done in one area before moving to the next. Your work day should be the same.. Before you start the day, block your priorities out from “most important” to “this can wait if need be.” I promise you, this will do wonders for your mental state. Good riddance to the feeling of having to “do it all.”
GET FRESH AIR
While I’m a huge believer in stepping outside or running a quick errand to be amongst your fellow people 😉 I totally get when your work day is just way too crazy to step outside. The compromise? Open up some windows. Fresh air makes you feel a bit more humanized and connected to the outside world, which is so important since that’s something we lack on a regular basis.
DRINK SOMETHING INTERESTING
My mom actually taught me this trick for when I’m driving for a long period of time. I don’t love soda (a Diet Coke here and there – but rarely), but the carbonation really helps to keep me awake. Club soda infused with fruit (or pineapple juice – so good!), fun La Croix flavors (my favorite – I’m addicted), your favorite homemade coffee drink, etc. It helps!
Now I know I probably sounded pretty strict about working in a designated work area, closing up shop as soon as you’re done, and getting ready for the day – BUT, we’re human.. and guess what? We’re kind of lucky that we get to work from the comfort of our own home (I think, anyway!) So, treat yourself here and there. I would say about once a week, I either stay in my sweats, give my makeup a break, or lounge in my workout clothes pretty much all day. I’ll also forego my office for my bed or the couch, which can be a nice break in routine. It can be easy to get sucked in to this since it’s just so comfortable, but I think you’ll soon realize your work flow just won’t be the same. So consider this a treat – because just in case no one else is telling you, I will: you deserve it.